If we start with the presumption that the Exodus is a fact and that it occurred within the 18th dynasty, and that according to traditional Egyptian chronology, Amenhotep II was the new pharaoh, then there is indication that the Biblical Story revolves not around Moses conflict with Amenhotep II, but with the Egyptian Grandvizier Rekhmire.
While by all accounts Amenhotep II was far worse by nature and practice than even the Biblical Narrative indicates, by the measure of Petrie's chronology, the Exodus would have taken place during Amenhotep II's co-regency during the last two years of the reign of Thothmes III.
During these years, and again during his 7th and 9th years, Amenhotep left Egypt to campaign in Asia, leaving the administration of the kingdom in the hands of the Grandvizier.
Irrespective of any discussion on the Exodus, the fact remains, that anyone trying to deal with the Pharaoh of Egypt at that time, had to have dealt with the Grandvisier Rekhmire. The Question is just whether the Biblical Reference to Pharaoh, referred to the Actual Pharaoh or his Stand In.
In this discussion, I am going to draw some attention to some rather odd statements in both the biblical narratives and in the records of Josephus, which may lend support to the hypothesis that it was with Grandvisier Rekhmire that Moses dealt, and not with the literal Pharaoh Amenhotep II.
James, T. (1984 p.21/p.52) informs us that Rekhmire met perhaps a violent end and 'almost certainly with disgrace,' this determined after examination of Rekhmire's tomb.
If we accept that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was actually the Grandvisier, then his final disgrace might be understood within the context of the Exodus event, especially once Pharaoh Amenhotep discovered that Rekhmire had let the Israelites go free.
The young twenty/twenty-two year old Amenhotep would not have been pleased when he returned home to discover that this 'old' and up until that time, very powerful Grandvizier, had allowed such a large number of slaves escape.
The emphatic 'old' is significant in the light of statements in the Tyndale Commentary on Romans, (1992, p.183). while Amenhotep was a very young man at the beginning of his reign, Rekhmire was an old man. F.F. Bruce, (Tyndale Commentary on Romans, 1992, p.183) in discussing the term 'I have raised you up' (Romans 9:17) points out that the Septuagint renders St. Paul's verb 'Exegeiro' as: 'you were preserved' and comments that 'The reference may be not only to G-d's raising up Pharaoh to be king, but to his patience in preserving him alive for so long, in spite of his disobedience.'
'Preserving Pharaoh for so long' could hardly apply to the 22 year old Amenhotep, but it could however apply to Rekhmire, who as Grandvizier for most of Thutmosis III's 54 years, was about 70 years old. Whatever may be the preferred reading of the Israelite escape through the Red Sea, the result remains the same, disaster! The Israelites escape and the Grandvizier suffers for it.
Is this proposition tenable?
When one begins to carefully examine the Biblical and extra biblical records in relation to the Exodus Event, certain interesting statements stand out. For Instance:
Exodus 13:29-31 informs us that pharaoh, like everyone else, lost his firstborn to the angel of death, subsequent to which he ordered Moses and the Israelites to leave Egypt.
In Exodus 14:5 however, we read that Pharaoh had to be told that the Israelites had fled, as though it was unknown to him. Furthermore, he appears confused by it, asking 'Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
In Antiquities 2:15:3 (Whiston, 1993, p.75) Josephus records that pharaoh 'was mightily concerned that this (Exodus) had been procured by the magic arts.'
We must wonder at How Pharaoh could have been unaware of the contest between Egyptian and Hebrew magic? Is it possible that he had forgotten about his son's death?
Josephus' version of the Biblical account (Antiquities Book 2 Chs.13 & 14 - Whiston, 1993, pp.72/73), records that pharaoh was not moved by the plagues, until after the deaths of the first-born.
Josephus however makes a statement not recorded in the Canonical version, indicating that Pharaoh, in arriving at his decision to let the Hebrews go, was persuaded by 'many Egyptians who lived near the King's palace.'
Once you begin to entertain the idea that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was in fact the Grandvisier Rekhmire, the phrase 'many Egyptians who lived near the King's Palace' seems to take on some significance. The Grandvisier, faced with this obviously difficult decision (difficult because he was not the actual Pharaoh), seems certain to have sought advice from Kingdom Officials (those living near the King's Palace), and undoubtedly finding that they were as eager as he for the Israelites to go, made the final decision.
So the question is asked:
If the Pharaoh of the Exodus was not the GrandVisier Rekhmire, then how can it be that having witnessed firsthand the various plagues, and being advised by court officials to let the Hebrews go, that he would need anyone to explain to him the meaning of the Israelite departure?
Pharaoh at this point in the Narrative appears surprised, shocked and ignorant of the background to the event? Why would he, contrary to all common sense and logic in view of what had transpired, pursue the Israelites?
So the question must also be asked: "Could it be that this pharaoh, and the one who released the Israelites, are two different people?'
If Rekhmire was the 'Pharaoh' who let Israel go, then Amenhotep would not have known about it until after the event, either by messenger or upon his return. The Biblical portrayal of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart may simply reflect the fact that when Amenhotep returned from his campaign and/or learned of the Exodus, that he ordered Rekhmire to have the Israelites returned.
Within this scenario, Rekhmire's apparent disgrace and fall from power, may find explanation in his failure to fulfil his Pharaoh's command.
But did Pharaoh Drown in the Red Sea?
If we wish to hold to the truth of the Biblical Narrative, then we must answer that he did drown in the Red Sea.
That there is no record of a Pharaoh drowning, combined with the failure of Rekhmire to ever be buried in his elaborate tomb, may be explained by the simple statement, that the Biblical Pharaoh was the Grandvisier of Egypt, Rekhmire.
For a continuation of the issue of the Pharaoh drowning in the Red Sea, Go To:
This article relates to the issue of the 480 years quoted in 1 Kings 6:1 in relation to the Mosaic Exodus and the building of Solomon’s Temple. It is in fact an ‘excerpt’ from Chapter 14 of the King’s Calendar. According to the authorised version, 1 King’s 6:1, tells us that Solomon’s 4th year is the 480th year since the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt. The Septuagint however tells us that it is the 440 th. year.
While the proposed “New chronology” would negate the ‘King’s Calendar’ apologetics for the placement of the Exodus within a 15th Century BCE – 18th Dynasty scenario, the significance for the ‘King’s Calendar’ of the New Chronology is that in relation to Merneptah’s Stele, it may now be possible to provide an exact date for this Pharaoh Merenptah’s fifth year.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]